In the fall of 1976 I entered the Language Training Mission (LTM) in Provo. Just a few month before, missionaries learning a foreign language stayed at old dorms at BYU. But now we had a brand new place below the Provo temple. Only foreign language missionaries went here, usually for two months. The missionaries not learning a Language went for just two weeks to the Salt Lake Mission home.
A few weeks after we arrived, they had the dedication of the LTM. Elder Monson conducted, and Elder McConkie gave the opening prayer, and the speakers were Elder S. Dilworth Young, Ezra Taft Benson, Marion Romney, N. Eldon Tanner and Spencer W. Kimble. Not speaking but on the stand was Paul H. Dunn, L. Tom Parry, Marvin J. Aston, Boyd K. Packer and La grand Richards. We all though that was pretty cool to have so many of the brethren sitting just a few feet from us in the LTM gym.
My district was all going to South America, six Elders and three sisters. Then after three weeks, one of the Elders was sent home for some “unresolved problems”, which I only found out much later. At the time we were told he was sick. So I then ended up in a threesome, with Elder Colson my original companion and Elder Aston who’s companion whet home. We all got along great, and really had fun. We all became friends, and got along with others on our floor in our dorm building.
One day we were talking about our calling letters we received from the prophet, and I made the comment that they were signed by an autopen. Elder Colson said that was not true, as his Stake President had told him that the prophet signs each calling personally. So, we each got out our letters, and I laid them on top of each other and help them up to the light. The two signatures of Spencer W. Kimball were exactly the same. We then put them side by side, and saw that the pen even skipped in the exact same place on each signature. It was pretty obvious that a machine had written the signature. Elder Colson looked at the letters, and then said “My Stake President lied to me!” The look on his face was priceless. I did not know what cognitive dissonance was back then, but if I had known, this would have been a prime example.
I don’t think that my companion’s SP lied to him. He was just perpetuating a story he had heard. But I put an end to the story that day for Elder Colson.